10:06 AM 9/26/2018 – Opinion | Is Merkel to Blame for Brexit?

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Is Merkel to Blame for Brexit?

New York Times2 hours ago
HAMBURG, Germany — Angela Merkel is the chancellor of … like President Trump’s election that same year, Brexit was dismissed as an …
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Angela Merkel: I can’t rule out Brexit talks breakdown

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Still unclear what Britain wants in Brexit talks: Merkel

The Daily StarSep 25, 2018
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Britain had still not expressed a clear position on its post-Brexit relations with the …
Opinion | Is Merkel to Blame for Brexit?

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HAMBURG, Germany — Angela Merkel is the chancellor of Germany, not the prime minister of Britain, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that she played a critical, if indirect, role in Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union. If not for her decision not long before the vote to allow for uncontrolled mass immigration into the heart of Europe, the pro-Brexit forces might have lost.

Remember that, like President Trump’s election that same year, Brexit was dismissed as an impossibility, until it happened. But unlike in the United States, Europe has not done much in the way of asking what happened, and why.

In late 2015, the Leave campaign started putting up placards which showed the exodus of refugees from Syria and other countries through the Balkans, and adorned them with slogans like “Breaking Point” and “Take Back Control.” With Ms. Merkel declaring an open-door policy, the message hit home for millions of worried Britons and Europeans. Not coincidentally, it was around this time that support for Brexit began to tick up.

If members of the chancellor’s government recognizes her complicity, they don’t show it. Ms. Merkel’s diplomats in Berlin treat the looming farewell of the second-biggest economy in the European Union as if it were merely another tiresome bureaucratic process that needs to be handled according to the treaty rules. If they consider the bigger picture at all, it is to think of ways to scare off other union members from following Britain’s lead.

There is, in other words, a near total lack of strategic thinking in the face of the most severe blow the European Union has ever suffered. Britain is not just another member, something officials in Berlin tell themselves repeatedly. Its exit will remove a good part of the union’s international clout. London is not just a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, it has significant military and diplomatic forces, as well as Europe’s best intelligence service. And, as a frequent outlier on European Union debates, it was always an important dissenting voice at the table in Brussels.

Strangely, while other member states listened (often grudgingly) to Britain while it sat at that table, they are paying no attention to the message being sent by its departure.

Britain is leaving because too many of its people became unhappy with one of the union’s governing principles, namely the free movement of workers. In a healthy, functioning organization, such a departure would lead the remaining members to revisit that principle. This is especially true if other member states have exempted themselves from that rule in the past.

A bit of background: When the European Union took in 10 mostly central European states in 2004, the German government sought the right to restrict free movement of laborers for a period of up to seven years. Ms. Merkel, then the opposition leader, thought those restrictions did not go far enough to protect the German labor market against an feared influx of low-wage workers from Poland and the Czech Republic. The government should have installed an even “better protection mechanism,” Ms. Merkel insisted in spring 2005.

Britain’s prime minister at the time, Tony Blair, did nothing of this sort; he left his country’s borders open to internal immigrants from every member state, old or new. As a result, over the next decade, around two million people from Central and Eastern Europe migrated to Britain. While they integrated well into the labor market, the influx strained public services like schools, health care and transport.

In 2014, 77 percent of British respondents said they favored a reduction of immigration numbers, which caused Prime Minister David Cameron to call for quotas on internal migration. Ms. Merkel rebuffed him. Strangely opposed to her own, earlier demands, she now insisted that “no compromise” could be made on the principle of free movement of workers.

In other words, Germany has no excuse not to lead a period of union-wide introspection into its own failure to keep Britain in the group, and whether the union should revisit its principles in light of that failure.

The union is not just lacking in vision, its hardball approach to Brexit is likely to backfire. Has anyone in Berlin or Paris thought about the consequences of an economic downturn in Britain after a Brexit, or, much worse, after a “hard,” no-deal Brexit that could entail a customs barrier across the English Channel? It does not take much imagination to realize on whom the Murdoch yellow press outlets (and not only them) will pin the blame for the downfall: stubborn, egoistic, Anglophobic Europeans.

Given what is at stake, Brussels and Berlin are gambling with far too poor a hand. What, after all, is to be gained from a stumbling, humiliated, angry and alienated Britain?

For those of us who still want to see a vibrant, unified Europe, our best hope for the moment is the faint chance for a second referendum on Brexit. If Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan on how to leave does not find approval in Westminster, the question of whether to leave with no deal at all could be put to the British people: Look, is this really what you want?

It is a remote possibility, yet it offers Ms. Merkel her own second chance — an opportunity to do everything she can to show British voters that the European Union is worth keeping. She could begin by endorsing limits — even slight ones — on the free internal movement of labor. Done right, it would send a signal that Brussels and Berlin are listening to voters, while doing minimal harm to Europe’s labor markets.

This would not hurt the principle of free movement as such. It would also be a move that the Germans themselves might find attractive, given that a new batch of countries — this time in the western Balkans — are lining up for membership. Whatever her answer, the choice is pretty clear for the European Union: reform, or face the next revolt.

Jochen Bittner is a political editor for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a contributing opinion writer.

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Merkel news: German chancellor hit by ‘uprising’ as she losing key CDU vote | World | News

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MPs from her Christian Democrat party (CDU) rejected her chosen candidate as their parliamentary leader and voted instead for a challenger who had promised to be more independent.

The defeat, her first since taking power, was a body blow to Mrs Merkel’s authority and leaves her facing a backbench rebellion as she tries to get her coalition’s legislative programme through parliament.

Conceding her nominee had lost she said: “This is an hour of democracy, and it has its defeats. There is nothing to gloss over.”

Thomas Oppermann, a senior MP from her coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), described the result as “an uprising against Merkel”.

Opposition MPs seized on the defeat as a clear sign that her grip on power was diminishing.

Niema Movassat of The Left Party said: “This is the beginning of the end for Merkel. Her authority is massively damaged.”

Alice Weidel of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party said: “The defeat of Volker Kauder makes Angela Merkel’s loss of power in the CDU clear.

“The twilight of Merkel has finally begun.”

Mrs Merkel had nominated Volker Kauder, an arch-loyalist who has served her as parliamentary leader for 13 years for re-election, and her choice was endorsed by the rest of the party leadership.

But the 69-year-old Mr Kauder was defeated by Ralph Brinkhaus, a relative unknown who said he was standing as the candidate of change, to renew the party.

Mrs Merkel has failed to stamp her authority on the Grand Coalition government and has suffered a bruising summer of power struggles with CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

This culminated in last night’s shock defeat which had previously been considered unthinkable.

Some MPs were expected to rebel in a protest vote against Mr Kauder but most forecasts predicted the challenger could hope for 30 per cent at most.

In the end, Mr Brinkhaus won with 125 votes to Mr Kauder’s 112. Two MPs abstained.

The result calls into question Mrs Merkel’s ability to get legislation through parliament as her 45-seat majority could easily by overturned by a a similar rebellion within her own party.

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This really is the beginning of the end for Merkel

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The next challenge for Mrs Merkel will be key regional elections in Bavaria and Hesse next month. The CDU does not stand in Bavaria, and she will be hoping that predicted losses for the CSU in its home state will weaken her arch-rival Mr Seehofer, and perhaps even see him overthrown as party leader. But losses could also lead to renewed pressure on Mrs Merkel from her Bavarian sister party.

Ahe also faces the prospect of damaging losses for her own party in Hesse, a conservative stronghold, at the hands of the AfD. That could strengthen calls within the party to abandon her centrist approach and return to a more conservative line.

If the losses in Bavaria and Hesse are bad enough, or if her authority continues to ebb away, Mrs Merkel could surprise everyone and choose to bow out gracefully by not standing for re-election as party leader in December. If that happened, the frontrunners to succeed her would be Jens Spahn, the health minister and darling of the party’s right wing, and Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, the party chairman, who is more in Mrs Merkel’s centrist mould.

Manafort guilty plea: a former spy explains why Manafort is crucial to Mueller’s Russia investigation

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Viktor Yanukovych, a Ukrainian politician, ran a divisive and ultimately successful presidential campaign in 2010.

Over the course of several months, he portrayed his political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, as corrupt and threatened to jail her. He warned that the election might be rigged and called on supporters to march in protest if he lost. He yelled about the corruption of the political elite and attacked his Western allies, calling instead for closer ties with Russia, with whom he had cultivated deep — and hidden — business ties.

Any of this sound familiar?

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump had the same strategic adviser as Yanukovych did six years earlier: Paul Manafort.

Coincidentally or not, Manafort proceeded to implement a nearly identical political playbook to launch Trump into the most powerful office in the world.

On September 14, Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy — counts that include money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and witness tampering — and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the presidential election.

The plea agreement came after Manafort was found guilty on charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, and hiding foreign bank accounts in a separate trial last month. The charges Manafort pleaded guilty to concern his influence-peddling on behalf of Yanukovych and his pro-Russian political party, the Party of Regions, in Washington and elsewhere — all of which occurred years before Manafort joined the Trump campaign.

The day the plea agreement was announced, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement emphasizing that fact — that Manafort’s crimes happened long before he ever worked for the campaign — saying that the plea deal “had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.”

But while she’s right that the crimes Manafort pleaded guilty to predate his work with the Trump campaign, his decision to plead guilty brings us closer to resolving questions surrounding possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian interests.

For Mueller, Manafort is a way to gain detailed insight into the campaign’s most controversial inner machinations, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting billed in advance by Russians as a way to collect damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and the decision to weaken the Republican Party’s support for Ukraine (which Russia had invaded) in its official platform.

Manafort may also provide new details about who knew what and when about WikiLeaks’ dissemination of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails at a key moment during the election.

As a former spy, I know that Manafort was a vulnerable target

Manafort’s guilty plea makes it clear that his actions on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Russian leader were in lockstep with the larger interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sought to undermine democracy not only in Eastern Europe but in America as well.

So why did this convergence of interests occur? My experience as an intelligence officer tells me that Manafort’s unmitigated greed and his business practices — including money laundering and his frequent use of offshore accounts — highlight vulnerabilities that Russian intelligence officers could have exploited to their advantage, including while he was working for Trump.

At the CIA, where I worked in the Directorate of Operations, we assessed a potential asset’s vulnerabilities using the acronym MICE: money, ideology, coercion, and ego. Any good intelligence officer finds a way to use those vulnerabilities to leverage the asset to work on her or his behalf.

Manafort, it was clear, had multiple vulnerabilities. He liked money, and he hid a lot of it. Prosecutors at his first trial highlighted Manafort’s extravagant lifestyle, trotting out exhibits showing he spent a million dollars on clothing at a single store, bought a $21,000 watch, spent a million dollars on Oriental rugs, used millions to buy and renovate real estate, and shelled out $15,000 on an ostrich leather jacket.

Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president, lived an opulent lifestyle as well — particularly for a lifelong public servant.

After he was forced out of office in February 2014, Ukrainians stormed his residence and discovered luxury cars, an 18-hole golf course, a presidential sauna, and a private exotic zoo, which included several ostriches (no word yet on how Yanukovych, or his ostriches, felt about Manafort’s jacket). Elsewhere, investigators for the new government found a ledger outlining $12 million in unofficial payments to Manafort.

So we know that Manafort had extensive ties to important people, some of whom were in their own compromising situations. Any intelligence officer would recognize the opportunity. Manafort was, quite simply, a ripe target to be exploited.

But what does lobbying for Ukraine have to do with Russia?

Yanukovych and his political party, who were both Manafort’s clients, had a political agenda aligned with Russia and influenced by a flow of Russian money.

The most glaring example of this occurred in November 2013, when Yanukovych decided not to sign an agreement with the European Union — despite popular support in Ukraine for it — and to push, instead, for closer ties with Russia.

The move set off a series of protests in Ukraine that nearly led to a civil war and ended with Yanukovych’s ouster in February 2014. He fled the country and remains in exile, notably, in Russia.

What’s notable as well is that Manafort and his partners pushed that same pro-Russia political agenda with US policymakers and the American press.

Manafort tried to clean up Yanukovych’s image in the West, convincing policymakers that his jailing of Tymoshenko was not politically motivated, for example, and that Yanukovych was the best leader to forge Ukraine’s relationship with Europe — exactly as Putin wanted.

Manafort also did other things to promote Putin’s agenda. According to the Associated Press, Manafort signed a contract in 2006 with Russian oligarch and Putin friend Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska agreed to pay Manafort $10 million a year to develop and execute an influence plan that Manafort promised would “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Manafort carried out similar pro-Russian influence operations in Georgia and Montenegro, two other countries Putin has been keen to keep on a tight leash due to their geographic proximity and historic ties to Russia.

This type of lobbying shares many similarities with espionage.

Both focus on gathering information, and influencing and manipulating people to do one’s bidding. The only real difference is deniability: Intelligence agencies like to hide the fact that they are behind the influence.

Lobbyists often don’t — but Manafort did.

In fact, Manafort’s correspondence, included as evidence in court filings, is littered with spy lingo depicting his efforts at deniability. In a June 2012 email to his associates Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik outlining plans to put together a high-level group of former European leaders to push Ukraine’s agenda, for example, Manafort notes “some informal and covert interaction is possible.”

He also pushed news stories denigrating Yanukovych’s political opponent in the American press. Those, too, needed to be “push[ed]” “[w]ith no fingerprints,” according to court filings.

As the charging documents state, Manafort hid that he and the government of Ukraine were behind efforts “to influence both American leaders and the American public.” He viewed “secrecy for himself and for the actions of his lobbyists as integral to the effectiveness of the lobbying offensive.”

Manafort and his partners even used other companies and individuals as cutouts, allowing them to influence policymakers “without any visible relationship with the Government of Ukraine,” according to the statement of offenses.

This all brings us to the question of collusion

Why did Manafort, a man who loved money, agree to work for Trump for free?

Was someone else paying him secretly? Were the loans he received from Deripaska or others connected to pro-Russian interests, whether business executives or organizations, really meant to be paid back? Or was Manafort in debt to these people, and thus vulnerable to coercion?

Manafort’s lawyers have denied he colluded with the Russian government. But his relationship with Deripaska, the Russian oligarch, included financial debt — which Deripaska wound up pursuing in the courts, and Manafort has denied.

This raises the question of what exactly Manafort owed to people close to Putin.

Of particular note is an email exchange — published by the Washington Post and the Atlantic — in which Manafort offered to brief Deripaska on developments in the Trump campaign.

This was an intriguing offer considering Deripaska’s relationship with Putin, and the fact that Manafort had received millions of dollars from Deripaska to do something. (They have each said the funds were for consulting or business deals that fell apart.)

Mueller may soon learn the answers to some of these questions, and perhaps the American public will learn the answer to the most important question of all: When Manafort worked on the Trump campaign, whose interests was he serving?

Alex Finley (@alexzfinley) is the pen name of a former journalist and an officer of the CIA from 2003 to 2009. She is the author of Victor in the Rubble, a satire about the CIA and the war on terror.

German Chancellor Merkel has a new rival with powerful supporters: her own spy chief

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Rick Noack and Luisa Beck, The Washington Post

Published

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli. / © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

    Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

  • photo

Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

German Chancellor Merkel has a new rival with powerful supporters: her own spy chief

BERLIN – For a few months this summer, it looked as if German Chancellor Angela Merkel had successfully fought off an attack by her own Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s over her decision three years ago to welcome refugees. But now it seems as though the revolt inside her government isn’t over and has erupted again over her domestic spy chief.

The turmoil is the result of an interview Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the domestic security agency, gave to Germany’s most widely read tabloid Bild two weeks ago, following demonstrations and mob attacks on immigrants by far-right and extremist groups in the east German town of Chemnitz. In the interview, Merkel’s spy chief questioned the authenticity of an online video showing the incident and contradicted Merkel who had previously condemned the attacks.

In one of his many statements that fueled the controversy, Maassen had told the German daily Bild “there is no evidence, that the videos spread online about this alleged occurrence are authentic,” he said, without giving any basis as to why he was questioning them.

Prosecutors leading the investigation into the far-right demonstration in Chemnitz said there’s no evidence the video is fake.

Maassen’s statements caused an uproar among German politicians and journalists, some of whom accuse him of playing into a far-right narrative of “fake news” that helped fuel the demonstrations in Chemnitz in the first place. After a German man was killed following a brawl with migrants, far-right groups began demonstrating in Chemnitz on Aug. 26. At one point, some 6,000 people took to the streets, with some openly saluting Hitler as well as assaulting immigrants.

After indirectly – and apparently falsely – contradicting the chancellor, many expected Maassen to be fired within days. Maassen is in charge of a domestic spy agency that has faced the fallout of a number of far-right scandals in recent years, including its failure to stop the far-right NSU terror group from killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007. After the group’s alleged crimes were revealed, a review of thousands of cases brought to light that 849 more people than originally thought could have been killed by right-wing extremists since 1990.

But instead of resigning or being forced out of his job over the latest incident, Maassen has been backed by his boss, Interior Minister Seehofer, the same person who nearly brought down Merkel’s government over her immigration policies.

Given Seehofer’s support for Maassen, any decision to remove Maassen from his office would likely also result in his patron’s ouster or resignation. But Seehofer remains a key figure in Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) that forms a coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union on the national level. If he was fired or forced to resign, the CSU may ultimately leave the coalition government and break it apart.

At the same time, Merkel is facing pressure from her other coalition partner, the Social Democrats, who have repeatedly called for Maassen to step down. This week, SPD leader Andrea Nahles stated “Mr. Maassen must go, and I tell you, he will go,” citing not only his statements about the Chemnitz video, but calling into question his ability to fight right-wing extremism.

Maassen’s critics argue that he has already become a hero of the far right in Germany. At recent protests, the spy chief who is supposed to be Germany’s top anti-extremism official was applauded for what the far right views as support for their agenda. But for other, more moderate right-wing voters, their support for Maassen appears to be driven more by a dislike for Merkel than by enthusiasm for the controversial spy chief.

Some German media commentators are calling the decision over Maassen’s future a stand-in for much larger questions about where the country stands, and where it’s heading.

The German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung wrote on Tuesday that the Maassen affair is “a symbol for all who reject Angela Merkel’s stance toward refugee politics. And a symbol for the question, how big the power and influence of the right-wing populists already is in this country.” The German daily Spiegel wrote that Maassen has become a sort of martyr figure for opponents of Merkel and supporters of the far right, some of whom have spread the false narrative that Maassen is slated to be fired because he contradicted Merkel politically. On Tuesday afternoon, party leaders including Merkel and Seehofer are scheduled to meet to reach a final decision about whether Maassen will be fired.

In an article defending Maassen, titled “Will the man who protects us from terror fall?,” the tabloid Bild describes a “domino effect” that would likely ensue, with Seehofer being forced to resign and Merkel’s coalition government thrown into a crisis it may not survive.

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A 2014 photo of former domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maaßen and Chancellor Angela Merkel | Olivier Berg/AFP via Getty Images

Decision to remove Hans-Georg Maaßen by promoting him sparked widespread anger.

By Andrew Gray

Updated

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her coalition partners said Friday they will review their heavily-criticized decision to fire the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency by promoting him to a better-paid post.

The review was prompted by Social Democrat (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles, who had pushed for spy chief Hans-Georg Maaßen to be removed but came under fire within her own party for accepting his transfer to a senior Interior Ministry post.

Maaßen’s fate became the subject of a power struggle with Merkel and Nahles on one side — both wanting Maaßen out — and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on the other. Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, stood by the intelligence boss as criticism grew over his reaction to anti-immigrant protests in the city of Chemnitz.

Maaßen had contradicted the chancellor’s assertion that there had been a “manhunt” against foreigners in Chemnitz following the death of a German man, allegedly at the hands of at least two refugees. Maaßen also expressed doubts about the authenticity of a video showing local men chasing refugees — yet proved unable to substantiate his claims.

On Tuesday, the three party leaders agreed on a compromise — Maaßen would leave his post as head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution but Seehofer would appoint him as a state secretary in the interior ministry. The decision met with widespread anger and incomprehension, particularly within the SPD, as it meant one of their state secretaries would have to leave the ministry to make way for Maaßen.

“We didn’t create trust, we lost trust. All three of us made a mistake,” Nahles acknowledged Friday, adding the three leaders would now “rethink” the decision.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel supported Nahles’ initiative. “The chancellor finds it correct and appropriate to re-evaluate the current questions and to find a mutually acceptable solution,” he said.

Seehofer also said he was willing to reopen the discussion as long as there is hope of reaching a “common solution.” All three party leaders are keen to avoid an escalation that could bring the government down.

Matthew Karnitschnig contributed reporting from Berlin.


Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo

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By Ulrich Rippert
21 September 2018

One day after Hans-Georg Maaßen, the former president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, BfV) was relieved from his post and promoted to State Secretary in the Interior Ministry, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union, CSU) announced Maaßen’s new responsibilities.

Maaßen sparked popular outrage and mass demonstrations when he publicly defended last month’s neo-Nazi riot in Chemnitz, denying that the fascists had attacked foreigners. Maaßen’s fascistic statements drew demands that he be fired from his post. But instead, he has been promoted.

At a press conference, Seehofer first praised the ex-intelligence chief for the “close and trusting cooperation” of the past few months and said Maaßen had demonstrated “high merit” as head of an important agency. He then announced that Maaßen, in his new position as State Secretary at the Interior Ministry, would take over responsibility for three key areas of internal security—the federal police, cyber security and public security.

Maaßen will therefore control key areas of the security apparatus and have even more political influence than at his previous job. He will not, however, take over supervision of the BfV. This had been agreed in the coalition committee, Seehofer said. This responsibility will be taken over by another state secretary—Hans-Georg Engelke. Such a division of labor by no means lessens Maaßen’s future influence in the intelligence services. Both Maaßen and Engelke are longstanding members of the Christian Democratic Union and have worked closely together in the past.

In order to make way for Maaßen in the Interior Ministry, another State Secretary has been forced into temporary retirement. The man replaced by Maaßen, Gunther Adler, is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), previously responsible for construction and housing. Adler stems from former East Germany, had worked closely with the former SPD federal president Johannes Rau and had made a name for himself as a social reformist. The SPD has protested against Adler’s retirement, but Seehofer stated that he alone decides the appointment of state secretaries in his ministry.

A number of media commentaries have criticised the promotion of Maaßen and the reorganisation of the Interior Ministry. The Süddeutsche Zeitung described the events as a “stimulus program for political disenchantment.” The taz referred to “Berlin’s Days of Chaos” and Die Zeit warned of the consequences of an “unsatisfactory compromise”, complaining that the federal government threatened to lose any sense of feeling for the popular mood.

No one, however, has explained what is actually going on. Hans-Georg Maaßen is a right-winger and supporter of the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Just a few days ago, he told the Interior Committee of the Bundestag he had been a member of the CDU for over 30 years, only confirming the close relationship between the AfD and the CDU. Now the AfD will be able to expand its influence with support from the executive levels of the other Bundestag parties, leading media outlets and the state apparatus. Before taking over as head of the AfD, Alexander Gauland was a member of the CDU for 40 years.

Maaßen used his executive post at the BfV to strengthen the AfD and the extreme right-wing circles. He met leading AfD politicians on a number of occasions to give them advice. He swept aside suggestions from some state BfV agencies to name the AfD in the annual secret service report as right-wing extremist and commence surveillance of the party. In fact, it is apparent that he discussed the contents of the BfV report with AfD officials prior to publication.

The AfD’s man, Maaßen, now has a central post in the Interior Ministry. This strengthens the influence of the AfD in the government and the state apparatus and at the same time underlines the right-wing character of the grand coalition government.

Maaßen now assumes responsibility for the federal police, cyber security and public security. In the past, he has repeatedly emphasised that the entire security apparatus must be strengthened and centralised.

Maaßen is now the strongman in the Interior Ministry, committed to centralising the different areas of the security apparatus and building up police-state structures.

A glance at the debates and decisions of the Conference of Interior Ministers last year makes clear what this means. The conference agreed to set up a Joint Counter-Terrorism Center (GTAZ) in Berlin, where representatives of over 40 German security agencies work under one roof.

But leading figures in the grand coalition have demanded even more police-state measures. In particular, they said, more had to be done in the sphere of digital intelligence and a “model police law” should be adopted. The aim is to connect all the databases used by authorities to spy on all persons and groups considered to be suspicious in any way. With the security laws passed last year, it is possible to create entire secret databases that are beyond any democratic oversight.

Another planned measure is so-called online search. It allows the authorities to read hard disks by hacking the computers of “suspects” without the need for physical access. Unlike a house search, involving the confiscation of the disks of suspects, now the person concerned will not know of the online search and therefore be unable to legally defend himself against it.

In future, Maaßen will be responsible for this area, so-called cybersecurity. All the information and data collected will land on his desk. He can have them evaluated and passed on to his friends at the AfD, who are already compiling lists of all those opposed to war, critics of capitalism and socialists.

These measures evoke the ghosts of Germany’s past. When the Nazis came to power in January 1933 and a short time later carried out mass arrests, they were able to rely on lists drawn up long before, during the crisis years of the Weimar Republic. No one should believe such a comparison is exaggerated. Today, the greatest danger is to think that the return of a far-right Nazi-type dictatorship is not possible.

Last year Maaßen was involved in developing a so-called CDU security paper. Under the title “A strong rule of law for the security of our citizens”, it proposes a catalog of measures that would make any dictator proud. The paper begins with the sentence: “Optimum cooperation between the federal government and the federal states, especially the police, intelligence services and the judiciary, is the key success factor for security in our country.”

The separation of the intelligence services and the police, and their decentralization, was one of the principles of the post-war order in Germany and is specifically ignored in this document. This separation of powers was the main conclusion drawn from the fall of the Nazi regime and the criminal role played by the Gestapo.

The German bourgeoisie did not voluntarily come to this conclusion at that time; instead it was insisted by the Allied powers in 1949 in the so-called “police letter.” Since Germany regained its full sovereignty with reunification, the validity of such a separation of powers has been increasingly called into question and rejected.

A few weeks after the devastating terror attack on the Berlin Breitscheidplatz—which, as we know today, was carried out under the noses of the BfV—the then Interior Minister, Lothar de Maizière, called upon the government at the beginning of January last year to set up “a controlling authority over all of the security agencies.” The powers of the federal Criminal Police Office and federal police are to be expanded, the state BfV agencies dissolved and integrated into a centralized domestic intelligence service.

In future the federal police, a paramilitary force which emerged from the federal Border Police and was originally responsible only for border security, is to be empowered to carry out nationwide operations. The German army is also to have more power to intervene domestically. “The debates may have been understandable earlier. Now, no more,” threatened Interior Minister de Maizière.

Maaßen has now taken over responsibility at the Interior Ministry for advancing and enforcing this right-wing agenda of police-state rearmament. The fact that he is not formally responsible for overseeing the BfV does not alter the fact that he maintains the closest connections to the secret service.

While thousands protest on the streets against Maaßen, Seehofer, the AfD and their right-wing racist policies, the ruling parties have agreed to implement this right-wing agenda and establish a police state to suppress growing resistance. The right-wing conspiratorial nature of the grand coalition in Berlin could not be clearer.

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Strategic intelligence – Wikipedia

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Strategic intelligence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Strategic intelligence (STRATINT) pertains both to the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and military plans at the national and international level and to qualities that equip leaders to be effective strategists. Much of the information needed for strategic reflections comes from Open Source Intelligence.[1] Other sources include traditional HUMINT (especially in recent years), Signals intelligence including ELINT, MASINT which overlaps with SIGINT/ELINT to some degree, and ‘National technical means of verification‘ (e.g. spysats).

Strategic intelligence pertains to the following system of abilities that, according to Michael Maccoby, characterize some of the most successful leaders in business and government:[2]

  • foresight, the ability to understand trends that present threats or opportunities for an organization;
  • visioning, the ability to conceptualize an ideal future state based on foresight and create a process to engage others to implement it;
  • system thinking, the ability to perceive, synthesize, and integrate elements that function as a whole to achieve a common purpose.
  • motivating, the ability to motivate different people to work together to implement a vision. Understanding what motivates people is based upon another ability, personality intelligence .
  • partnering, the ability to develop strategic alliances with individuals, groups and organizations. This quality also depends on personality intelligence.[3]

In “Transforming Health Care Leadership, A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Care, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health,” Jossey Bass, 2013, Maccoby and his co-authors Clifford L. Norman, C. Jane Norman, and Richard Margolies apply strategic intelligence to health care leadership and add to strategic intelligence leadership philosophy and W. Edwards Deming’s four elements of “profound Knowledge”: understanding variation, systems thinking, understanding personality, and understanding knowledge creation. The concept is further developed and applied in Michael Maccoby, “Strategic Intelligence, Conceptual Tools for Leading Change,” Oxford University Press, 2015.

Recent thought leadership on strategic intelligence focuses on the consequences of the modern information age, which has led to the availability of substantial volumes of information than previously encountered. Alfred Rolington, the former CEO of Jane’s Information Group and Oxford Analytica, recommends that intelligence organizations approach the challenges of the modern information age by breaking from their traditional models to become more deeply and continuously inter-linked.[4]Specifically, Mr. Rolington advocates more fluid, networked operating methods that incorporates greater open-sourced information and data in analysis.[5]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ Herman, Michael. Intelligence Power in Peace and War ISBN 0-521-56636-3.
  2. Jump up ^ Michael Maccoby,Successful Leaders Employ Strategic Intelligence, Research Technology Management, Volume 44. No. 3. May–June, 2001. pp . 58-60. The Productive Narcissist, Broadway Books, 2003, chapter 4. “Strategic Intelligence, Conceptual Tools for Leading Change”, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  3. Jump up ^ Michael Maccoby. The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow, Harvard Business School Press, 2007, chapter 5.
  4. Jump up ^ Alfred Rolington. “Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method,” Oxford University Press, 2013.
  5. Jump up ^ Alfred Rolington. “Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method,” Oxford University Press, 2013.

External links[edit]

Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century by Alfred Rolington.

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Strategic intelligence is basically information which may help a decision maker prepare policy now and in the future. Its value is that it helps in the development of policy that has positive effects. Strategic intelligence may be obtained in various ways, but in this book the author is advocating the mosaic method.

The mosaic method looks at a current problem and analyzes it from historical, political, economic, and other perspectives which results in a more comprehensive analysis. Using this method has the advantage of providing different insights about a problem or challenge facing a policymaker. What the mosaic method boils down to is a form of analysis which involves using different ways of looking at a particular situation with the intention of coming up with a more complete picture of its reality. It necessitates interpretations from different types of experts to bring about a more realistic picture of a situation. It is suggested that the use of the mosaic model to obtain intelligence will be quite valuable to the police, military, intelligence organizations, and even to some sectors of private industry.

The use of the mosaic method is recommended because it provides better information or intelligence needed to meet the new challenges of the 21st century. These new challenges could be terrorism, cyber-threats, and nuclear proliferation. All of them and some others require a new response from intelligence agencies that previously relied on different methods to obtain information.

This book has three main parts. Part one deals with the changing definitions of information and intelligence. Part two concerns post-modern intelligence activity and has an interesting chapter about new information sources. Part three concerns “Intelligence Review” and demonstrates how business enterprises and policing are related to intelligence activities.

Although all three parts of the book provide interesting commentaries about aspects of intelligence, Chapter Three is most appropriate for those interested in military intelligence (MI). MI is defined as providing information and analysis to help commanders make more effective decisions in times of conflict. Historically, warfare was seen as the birthplace of intelligence. The first recorded and published intelligence methods and processes that are still available to us are Chinese. (53) The author writes that throughout centuries three different levels of MI have developed. One type is strategic intelligence which is important for what might happen in the future and it is concerned with the long view of a situation. A second type is operational intelligence which is concerned with a shorter period of time. The third type is tactical which refers to information most currently needed for a situation such as when a battle is taking place.

The author also makes reference to a number of classic books which have influenced military commanders and policymakers. An example is “The Art of War” attributed to Sun Tzu who is thought to have been a great successful senior commander. The author’s comments about the book note: “This is the most successful book ever published about military strategy and tactics and is still read and referred to in many military academies, intellectual circles, and business schools today.” (55)

Besides indicating the value of using the mosaic method as a tool in obtaining intelligence, the author makes several other good points. For example, he notes that “today’s intelligence analysis can also become overwhelmed by the sheer quantities of available information…. There is an overload of information and data to make collection sometimes seem more important than analysis.” (5) This seems to be recognition that there is a difference between quality intelligence and quantity intelligence which is important to note because too much intelligence or information has the disadvantage of slowing down the securing of the really important information needed by policymakers.

Another commendable suggestion by the author is that there should be more cooperation among different entities, each of which has need for the best type of intelligence. Considering the fact that many of the challenges facing governments today are on a global scale, the author’s advocacy of continued interlinked relationships among entities makes practical sense.

There are many good works concerning intelligence activity and this book is one of them. However, it has the extra advantage of making suggestions about intelligence activity in the twenty-first century. In addition, its scope of commentary includes business entities as intelligence concerns which is not found in many other books. Yet, perhaps one of the biggest advantages of this book is a variety of suggestions about how to improve intelligence capabilities and what changes should be made to bring this about.

CPI Group (UK), Ltd., (Croydon: Oxford University Press 2013), 171 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-06542-1.

Reviewed by William E. Kelly, PhD, Auburn University

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Soldier whose chemical bomb ‘ended’ careers of two others gets 11-year sentence

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Ryan Keith Taylor pleaded guilty to detonating a homemade chemical bomb in Louisiana last year.  (Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office)

An American soldier, who the Justice Department says “effectively ended” the careers of two others after detonating a homemade chemical bomb near Fort Polk in Louisiana, will spend the next 11 years in prison.

The 135-month sentence, which is followed by five years of supervised release, was handed to Ryan Keith Taylor on Monday after he pleaded guilty to manufacturing, possessing and detonating a chemical weapon in the Kisatchie National Forest in April 2017.

“Those serving our country put their lives on the line daily to protect us. They should not be put in danger needlessly,” David C. Joseph, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in a statement. “The chemical weapon the defendant created in this case is banned under international and national laws because of its terrible effects on the human body.”

Taylor, 24, was first reported to military police after three soldiers conducting a training exercise in the area caught him filming the blast with his cell phone. The device he made, the Justice Department says, contained chlorine gas.

One investigator who responded to the scene ran into trouble after putting a “rock coated in an unknown substance” inside a plastic bag as part of evidence collection.

“The bag immediately popped and the investigator’s plastic gloves and boots began to melt,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “He also began to experience difficulty breathing and his skin started burning.”

Investigators say they also “found bomb-making notes, materials and chemical residue in Taylor’s vehicle, apartment and storage building” during searches.

Another investigator was reported to have inhaled and touched some of the residue, sending him to the hospital.

“The two victims who inhaled the chlorine gas were treated multiple times for their injuries and effectively ended their military careers,” the Justice Department concluded.

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4:59 AM 9/26/2018 – German Intelligence Update: “The right-wing conspiratorial nature of the grand coalition in Berlin could not be clearer.” – Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo – WSWS

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German Chancellor Merkel has a new rival with powerful supporters: her own spy chief

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Rick Noack and Luisa Beck, The Washington Post

Published

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli. / © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

    Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

  • photo

Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference following a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels on Feb. 23, 2018.

Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Dario Pignatelli.

German Chancellor Merkel has a new rival with powerful supporters: her own spy chief

BERLIN – For a few months this summer, it looked as if German Chancellor Angela Merkel had successfully fought off an attack by her own Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s over her decision three years ago to welcome refugees. But now it seems as though the revolt inside her government isn’t over and has erupted again over her domestic spy chief.

The turmoil is the result of an interview Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the domestic security agency, gave to Germany’s most widely read tabloid Bild two weeks ago, following demonstrations and mob attacks on immigrants by far-right and extremist groups in the east German town of Chemnitz. In the interview, Merkel’s spy chief questioned the authenticity of an online video showing the incident and contradicted Merkel who had previously condemned the attacks.

In one of his many statements that fueled the controversy, Maassen had told the German daily Bild “there is no evidence, that the videos spread online about this alleged occurrence are authentic,” he said, without giving any basis as to why he was questioning them.

Prosecutors leading the investigation into the far-right demonstration in Chemnitz said there’s no evidence the video is fake.

Maassen’s statements caused an uproar among German politicians and journalists, some of whom accuse him of playing into a far-right narrative of “fake news” that helped fuel the demonstrations in Chemnitz in the first place. After a German man was killed following a brawl with migrants, far-right groups began demonstrating in Chemnitz on Aug. 26. At one point, some 6,000 people took to the streets, with some openly saluting Hitler as well as assaulting immigrants.

After indirectly – and apparently falsely – contradicting the chancellor, many expected Maassen to be fired within days. Maassen is in charge of a domestic spy agency that has faced the fallout of a number of far-right scandals in recent years, including its failure to stop the far-right NSU terror group from killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007. After the group’s alleged crimes were revealed, a review of thousands of cases brought to light that 849 more people than originally thought could have been killed by right-wing extremists since 1990.

But instead of resigning or being forced out of his job over the latest incident, Maassen has been backed by his boss, Interior Minister Seehofer, the same person who nearly brought down Merkel’s government over her immigration policies.

Given Seehofer’s support for Maassen, any decision to remove Maassen from his office would likely also result in his patron’s ouster or resignation. But Seehofer remains a key figure in Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) that forms a coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union on the national level. If he was fired or forced to resign, the CSU may ultimately leave the coalition government and break it apart.

At the same time, Merkel is facing pressure from her other coalition partner, the Social Democrats, who have repeatedly called for Maassen to step down. This week, SPD leader Andrea Nahles stated “Mr. Maassen must go, and I tell you, he will go,” citing not only his statements about the Chemnitz video, but calling into question his ability to fight right-wing extremism.

Maassen’s critics argue that he has already become a hero of the far right in Germany. At recent protests, the spy chief who is supposed to be Germany’s top anti-extremism official was applauded for what the far right views as support for their agenda. But for other, more moderate right-wing voters, their support for Maassen appears to be driven more by a dislike for Merkel than by enthusiasm for the controversial spy chief.

Some German media commentators are calling the decision over Maassen’s future a stand-in for much larger questions about where the country stands, and where it’s heading.

The German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung wrote on Tuesday that the Maassen affair is “a symbol for all who reject Angela Merkel’s stance toward refugee politics. And a symbol for the question, how big the power and influence of the right-wing populists already is in this country.” The German daily Spiegel wrote that Maassen has become a sort of martyr figure for opponents of Merkel and supporters of the far right, some of whom have spread the false narrative that Maassen is slated to be fired because he contradicted Merkel politically. On Tuesday afternoon, party leaders including Merkel and Seehofer are scheduled to meet to reach a final decision about whether Maassen will be fired.

In an article defending Maassen, titled “Will the man who protects us from terror fall?,” the tabloid Bild describes a “domino effect” that would likely ensue, with Seehofer being forced to resign and Merkel’s coalition government thrown into a crisis it may not survive.

“The right-wing conspiratorial nature of the grand coalition in Berlin could not be clearer.” – Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo – WSWS

Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo  World Socialist Web Site

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A 2014 photo of former domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maaßen and Chancellor Angela Merkel | Olivier Berg/AFP via Getty Images

Decision to remove Hans-Georg Maaßen by promoting him sparked widespread anger.

By Andrew Gray

Updated

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her coalition partners said Friday they will review their heavily-criticized decision to fire the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency by promoting him to a better-paid post.

The review was prompted by Social Democrat (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles, who had pushed for spy chief Hans-Georg Maaßen to be removed but came under fire within her own party for accepting his transfer to a senior Interior Ministry post.

Maaßen’s fate became the subject of a power struggle with Merkel and Nahles on one side — both wanting Maaßen out — and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on the other. Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, stood by the intelligence boss as criticism grew over his reaction to anti-immigrant protests in the city of Chemnitz.

Maaßen had contradicted the chancellor’s assertion that there had been a “manhunt” against foreigners in Chemnitz following the death of a German man, allegedly at the hands of at least two refugees. Maaßen also expressed doubts about the authenticity of a video showing local men chasing refugees — yet proved unable to substantiate his claims.

On Tuesday, the three party leaders agreed on a compromise — Maaßen would leave his post as head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution but Seehofer would appoint him as a state secretary in the interior ministry. The decision met with widespread anger and incomprehension, particularly within the SPD, as it meant one of their state secretaries would have to leave the ministry to make way for Maaßen.

“We didn’t create trust, we lost trust. All three of us made a mistake,” Nahles acknowledged Friday, adding the three leaders would now “rethink” the decision.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel supported Nahles’ initiative. “The chancellor finds it correct and appropriate to re-evaluate the current questions and to find a mutually acceptable solution,” he said.

Seehofer also said he was willing to reopen the discussion as long as there is hope of reaching a “common solution.” All three party leaders are keen to avoid an escalation that could bring the government down.

Matthew Karnitschnig contributed reporting from Berlin.


Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo
 

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By Ulrich Rippert
21 September 2018

One day after Hans-Georg Maaßen, the former president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, BfV) was relieved from his post and promoted to State Secretary in the Interior Ministry, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union, CSU) announced Maaßen’s new responsibilities.

Maaßen sparked popular outrage and mass demonstrations when he publicly defended last month’s neo-Nazi riot in Chemnitz, denying that the fascists had attacked foreigners. Maaßen’s fascistic statements drew demands that he be fired from his post. But instead, he has been promoted.

At a press conference, Seehofer first praised the ex-intelligence chief for the “close and trusting cooperation” of the past few months and said Maaßen had demonstrated “high merit” as head of an important agency. He then announced that Maaßen, in his new position as State Secretary at the Interior Ministry, would take over responsibility for three key areas of internal security—the federal police, cyber security and public security.

Maaßen will therefore control key areas of the security apparatus and have even more political influence than at his previous job. He will not, however, take over supervision of the BfV. This had been agreed in the coalition committee, Seehofer said. This responsibility will be taken over by another state secretary—Hans-Georg Engelke. Such a division of labor by no means lessens Maaßen’s future influence in the intelligence services. Both Maaßen and Engelke are longstanding members of the Christian Democratic Union and have worked closely together in the past.

In order to make way for Maaßen in the Interior Ministry, another State Secretary has been forced into temporary retirement. The man replaced by Maaßen, Gunther Adler, is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), previously responsible for construction and housing. Adler stems from former East Germany, had worked closely with the former SPD federal president Johannes Rau and had made a name for himself as a social reformist. The SPD has protested against Adler’s retirement, but Seehofer stated that he alone decides the appointment of state secretaries in his ministry.

A number of media commentaries have criticised the promotion of Maaßen and the reorganisation of the Interior Ministry. The Süddeutsche Zeitung described the events as a “stimulus program for political disenchantment.” The taz referred to “Berlin’s Days of Chaos” and Die Zeit warned of the consequences of an “unsatisfactory compromise”, complaining that the federal government threatened to lose any sense of feeling for the popular mood.

No one, however, has explained what is actually going on. Hans-Georg Maaßen is a right-winger and supporter of the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Just a few days ago, he told the Interior Committee of the Bundestag he had been a member of the CDU for over 30 years, only confirming the close relationship between the AfD and the CDU. Now the AfD will be able to expand its influence with support from the executive levels of the other Bundestag parties, leading media outlets and the state apparatus. Before taking over as head of the AfD, Alexander Gauland was a member of the CDU for 40 years.

Maaßen used his executive post at the BfV to strengthen the AfD and the extreme right-wing circles. He met leading AfD politicians on a number of occasions to give them advice. He swept aside suggestions from some state BfV agencies to name the AfD in the annual secret service report as right-wing extremist and commence surveillance of the party. In fact, it is apparent that he discussed the contents of the BfV report with AfD officials prior to publication.

The AfD’s man, Maaßen, now has a central post in the Interior Ministry. This strengthens the influence of the AfD in the government and the state apparatus and at the same time underlines the right-wing character of the grand coalition government.

Maaßen now assumes responsibility for the federal police, cyber security and public security. In the past, he has repeatedly emphasised that the entire security apparatus must be strengthened and centralised.

Maaßen is now the strongman in the Interior Ministry, committed to centralising the different areas of the security apparatus and building up police-state structures.

A glance at the debates and decisions of the Conference of Interior Ministers last year makes clear what this means. The conference agreed to set up a Joint Counter-Terrorism Center (GTAZ) in Berlin, where representatives of over 40 German security agencies work under one roof.

But leading figures in the grand coalition have demanded even more police-state measures. In particular, they said, more had to be done in the sphere of digital intelligence and a “model police law” should be adopted. The aim is to connect all the databases used by authorities to spy on all persons and groups considered to be suspicious in any way. With the security laws passed last year, it is possible to create entire secret databases that are beyond any democratic oversight.

Another planned measure is so-called online search. It allows the authorities to read hard disks by hacking the computers of “suspects” without the need for physical access. Unlike a house search, involving the confiscation of the disks of suspects, now the person concerned will not know of the online search and therefore be unable to legally defend himself against it.

In future, Maaßen will be responsible for this area, so-called cybersecurity. All the information and data collected will land on his desk. He can have them evaluated and passed on to his friends at the AfD, who are already compiling lists of all those opposed to war, critics of capitalism and socialists.

These measures evoke the ghosts of Germany’s past. When the Nazis came to power in January 1933 and a short time later carried out mass arrests, they were able to rely on lists drawn up long before, during the crisis years of the Weimar Republic. No one should believe such a comparison is exaggerated. Today, the greatest danger is to think that the return of a far-right Nazi-type dictatorship is not possible.

Last year Maaßen was involved in developing a so-called CDU security paper. Under the title “A strong rule of law for the security of our citizens”, it proposes a catalog of measures that would make any dictator proud. The paper begins with the sentence: “Optimum cooperation between the federal government and the federal states, especially the police, intelligence services and the judiciary, is the key success factor for security in our country.”

The separation of the intelligence services and the police, and their decentralization, was one of the principles of the post-war order in Germany and is specifically ignored in this document. This separation of powers was the main conclusion drawn from the fall of the Nazi regime and the criminal role played by the Gestapo.

The German bourgeoisie did not voluntarily come to this conclusion at that time; instead it was insisted by the Allied powers in 1949 in the so-called “police letter.” Since Germany regained its full sovereignty with reunification, the validity of such a separation of powers has been increasingly called into question and rejected.

A few weeks after the devastating terror attack on the Berlin Breitscheidplatz—which, as we know today, was carried out under the noses of the BfV—the then Interior Minister, Lothar de Maizière, called upon the government at the beginning of January last year to set up “a controlling authority over all of the security agencies.” The powers of the federal Criminal Police Office and federal police are to be expanded, the state BfV agencies dissolved and integrated into a centralized domestic intelligence service.

In future the federal police, a paramilitary force which emerged from the federal Border Police and was originally responsible only for border security, is to be empowered to carry out nationwide operations. The German army is also to have more power to intervene domestically. “The debates may have been understandable earlier. Now, no more,” threatened Interior Minister de Maizière.

Maaßen has now taken over responsibility at the Interior Ministry for advancing and enforcing this right-wing agenda of police-state rearmament. The fact that he is not formally responsible for overseeing the BfV does not alter the fact that he maintains the closest connections to the secret service.

While thousands protest on the streets against Maaßen, Seehofer, the AfD and their right-wing racist policies, the ruling parties have agreed to implement this right-wing agenda and establish a police state to suppress growing resistance. The right-wing conspiratorial nature of the grand coalition in Berlin could not be clearer.

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Strategic intelligence – Wikipedia
 

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Strategic intelligence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Strategic intelligence (STRATINT) pertains both to the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and military plans at the national and international level and to qualities that equip leaders to be effective strategists. Much of the information needed for strategic reflections comes from Open Source Intelligence.[1] Other sources include traditional HUMINT (especially in recent years), Signals intelligence including ELINT, MASINT which overlaps with SIGINT/ELINT to some degree, and ‘National technical means of verification‘ (e.g. spysats).

Strategic intelligence pertains to the following system of abilities that, according to Michael Maccoby, characterize some of the most successful leaders in business and government:[2]

  • foresight, the ability to understand trends that present threats or opportunities for an organization;
  • visioning, the ability to conceptualize an ideal future state based on foresight and create a process to engage others to implement it;
  • system thinking, the ability to perceive, synthesize, and integrate elements that function as a whole to achieve a common purpose.
  • motivating, the ability to motivate different people to work together to implement a vision. Understanding what motivates people is based upon another ability, personality intelligence .
  • partnering, the ability to develop strategic alliances with individuals, groups and organizations. This quality also depends on personality intelligence.[3]

In “Transforming Health Care Leadership, A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Care, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health,” Jossey Bass, 2013, Maccoby and his co-authors Clifford L. Norman, C. Jane Norman, and Richard Margolies apply strategic intelligence to health care leadership and add to strategic intelligence leadership philosophy and W. Edwards Deming’s four elements of “profound Knowledge”: understanding variation, systems thinking, understanding personality, and understanding knowledge creation. The concept is further developed and applied in Michael Maccoby, “Strategic Intelligence, Conceptual Tools for Leading Change,” Oxford University Press, 2015.

Recent thought leadership on strategic intelligence focuses on the consequences of the modern information age, which has led to the availability of substantial volumes of information than previously encountered. Alfred Rolington, the former CEO of Jane’s Information Group and Oxford Analytica, recommends that intelligence organizations approach the challenges of the modern information age by breaking from their traditional models to become more deeply and continuously inter-linked.[4]Specifically, Mr. Rolington advocates more fluid, networked operating methods that incorporates greater open-sourced information and data in analysis.[5]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ Herman, Michael. Intelligence Power in Peace and War ISBN 0-521-56636-3.
  2. Jump up ^ Michael Maccoby,Successful Leaders Employ Strategic Intelligence, Research Technology Management, Volume 44. No. 3. May–June, 2001. pp . 58-60. The Productive Narcissist, Broadway Books, 2003, chapter 4. “Strategic Intelligence, Conceptual Tools for Leading Change”, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  3. Jump up ^ Michael Maccoby. The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow, Harvard Business School Press, 2007, chapter 5.
  4. Jump up ^ Alfred Rolington. “Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method,” Oxford University Press, 2013.
  5. Jump up ^ Alfred Rolington. “Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method,” Oxford University Press, 2013.

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Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century by Alfred Rolington.
 

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Strategic intelligence is basically information which may help a decision maker prepare policy now and in the future. Its value is that it helps in the development of policy that has positive effects. Strategic intelligence may be obtained in various ways, but in this book the author is advocating the mosaic method.

The mosaic method looks at a current problem and analyzes it from historical, political, economic, and other perspectives which results in a more comprehensive analysis. Using this method has the advantage of providing different insights about a problem or challenge facing a policymaker. What the mosaic method boils down to is a form of analysis which involves using different ways of looking at a particular situation with the intention of coming up with a more complete picture of its reality. It necessitates interpretations from different types of experts to bring about a more realistic picture of a situation. It is suggested that the use of the mosaic model to obtain intelligence will be quite valuable to the police, military, intelligence organizations, and even to some sectors of private industry.

The use of the mosaic method is recommended because it provides better information or intelligence needed to meet the new challenges of the 21st century. These new challenges could be terrorism, cyber-threats, and nuclear proliferation. All of them and some others require a new response from intelligence agencies that previously relied on different methods to obtain information.

This book has three main parts. Part one deals with the changing definitions of information and intelligence. Part two concerns post-modern intelligence activity and has an interesting chapter about new information sources. Part three concerns “Intelligence Review” and demonstrates how business enterprises and policing are related to intelligence activities.

Although all three parts of the book provide interesting commentaries about aspects of intelligence, Chapter Three is most appropriate for those interested in military intelligence (MI). MI is defined as providing information and analysis to help commanders make more effective decisions in times of conflict. Historically, warfare was seen as the birthplace of intelligence. The first recorded and published intelligence methods and processes that are still available to us are Chinese. (53) The author writes that throughout centuries three different levels of MI have developed. One type is strategic intelligence which is important for what might happen in the future and it is concerned with the long view of a situation. A second type is operational intelligence which is concerned with a shorter period of time. The third type is tactical which refers to information most currently needed for a situation such as when a battle is taking place.

The author also makes reference to a number of classic books which have influenced military commanders and policymakers. An example is “The Art of War” attributed to Sun Tzu who is thought to have been a great successful senior commander. The author’s comments about the book note: “This is the most successful book ever published about military strategy and tactics and is still read and referred to in many military academies, intellectual circles, and business schools today.” (55)

Besides indicating the value of using the mosaic method as a tool in obtaining intelligence, the author makes several other good points. For example, he notes that “today’s intelligence analysis can also become overwhelmed by the sheer quantities of available information…. There is an overload of information and data to make collection sometimes seem more important than analysis.” (5) This seems to be recognition that there is a difference between quality intelligence and quantity intelligence which is important to note because too much intelligence or information has the disadvantage of slowing down the securing of the really important information needed by policymakers.

Another commendable suggestion by the author is that there should be more cooperation among different entities, each of which has need for the best type of intelligence. Considering the fact that many of the challenges facing governments today are on a global scale, the author’s advocacy of continued interlinked relationships among entities makes practical sense.

There are many good works concerning intelligence activity and this book is one of them. However, it has the extra advantage of making suggestions about intelligence activity in the twenty-first century. In addition, its scope of commentary includes business entities as intelligence concerns which is not found in many other books. Yet, perhaps one of the biggest advantages of this book is a variety of suggestions about how to improve intelligence capabilities and what changes should be made to bring this about.

CPI Group (UK), Ltd., (Croydon: Oxford University Press 2013), 171 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-06542-1.

Reviewed by William E. Kelly, PhD, Auburn University

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Soldier whose chemical bomb ‘ended’ careers of two others gets 11-year sentence
 

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Ryan Keith Taylor pleaded guilty to detonating a homemade chemical bomb in Louisiana last year.  (Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office)

An American soldier, who the Justice Department says “effectively ended” the careers of two others after detonating a homemade chemical bomb near Fort Polk in Louisiana, will spend the next 11 years in prison.

The 135-month sentence, which is followed by five years of supervised release, was handed to Ryan Keith Taylor on Monday after he pleaded guilty to manufacturing, possessing and detonating a chemical weapon in the Kisatchie National Forest in April 2017.

“Those serving our country put their lives on the line daily to protect us. They should not be put in danger needlessly,” David C. Joseph, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in a statement. “The chemical weapon the defendant created in this case is banned under international and national laws because of its terrible effects on the human body.”

Taylor, 24, was first reported to military police after three soldiers conducting a training exercise in the area caught him filming the blast with his cell phone. The device he made, the Justice Department says, contained chlorine gas.

One investigator who responded to the scene ran into trouble after putting a “rock coated in an unknown substance” inside a plastic bag as part of evidence collection.

“The bag immediately popped and the investigator’s plastic gloves and boots began to melt,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “He also began to experience difficulty breathing and his skin started burning.”

Investigators say they also “found bomb-making notes, materials and chemical residue in Taylor’s vehicle, apartment and storage building” during searches.

Another investigator was reported to have inhaled and touched some of the residue, sending him to the hospital.

“The two victims who inhaled the chlorine gas were treated multiple times for their injuries and effectively ended their military careers,” the Justice Department concluded.

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Declassify the Russia investigation documents
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Did high-level members of either presidential campaign work in coordination with Russian officials? Why did the FBI, under President Barack Obama, monitor members of the Trump campaign without informing candidate Trump his staffers were under …and more »

Declassify the Russia investigation documents
 

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President Donald Trump’s decision to allow the Justice Department’s inspector general to review documents related to the ongoing Russia probe is a smart step toward transparency in this lengthy, opaque investigation.

Mr. Trump announced last week that he planned to unilaterally declassify the documents, including the secret court order to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

That American citizens still know so little about the alleged interference is appalling. The investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has been going for nearly a year and a half and our country is no closer to the answers it so badly deserves.

Read more Blade editorials

Did the Russian interference have a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election? Did high-level members of either presidential campaign work in coordination with Russian officials? Why did the FBI, under President Barack Obama, monitor members of the Trump campaign without informing candidate Trump his staffers were under investigation?

With the midterm elections looming and the U.S. taxpayers still footing the bill for this lengthy investigation, at least some answers would be expected by now. But average Americans are still in the dark.

Declassifying some of the documents related to the monitoring of Mr. Page might answer some of the most critical, lingering questions. Considering the concerns surrounding the FBI — it would seem the bureau has become dangerously politicized — the court order authorizing the surveillance of Mr. Page could offer citizens the chance to review the evidence and come to their own conclusions.

Mr. Trump was smart to back off his initial, unilateral declaration and entrust the Justice Department’s inspector general with the review. An executive fiat declassifying those documents could only have been interpreted as a raw political move, and the president would be wise to avoid those kind of decisions wherever he can. But the American people deserve the unvarnished truth.

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US diplomat found dead in Madagascar, 1 person held

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the foreign service officer was found dead inside their residence in Antananarivo, the …
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Madagascar stadium stampede leaves 1 dead, 40 injured

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WASHINGTON — The death of an American diplomat in Madagascar is being investigated by U.S. and local authorities and one person has been taken into custody, the U.S. State Department said Monday. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the foreign service officer was found dead inside their residence in Antananarivo, the capital of the Indian Ocean nation off the East Coast of Africa.

“Diplomatic Security is collaborating with local Malagasy authorities on a joint investigation and a suspect is currently in custody,” Nauert told the Reuters news agency on Monday.

She said the department expressed its “deepest sympathies” to the family of the diplomat but release no details Monday on the officer’s identity or circumstances of the death.

The State Department said the person was found in the overnight hours Friday and that diplomatic security and Malagasy authorities were collaborating on an investigation.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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(CNN) A suspect is in custody and an investigation is underway after a US diplomat was found dead Friday in Madagascar, the US State Department said. The unnamed diplomat was found at home in Antananarivo, Madagascar. “Our deepest sympathies go …
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1:24 AM 8/17/2018 – Opinion | John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash

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In Brief – Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash
Trump was right to revoke Brennan’s security clearance
The Real Risk of the John Brennan Episode
Gregg Jarrett: Ex-CIA Director Brennan shouldn’t have a security clearance – He’s a national security risk
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s incredible statement dissing America shows bankruptcy of Democratic ideas
letter: Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power
Thanks, Paul Manafort — for showing that the U.S. needs to crack down on dirty money
Please Let Me Join Your Heist
Why Should We Fear Russian Political Ads?
John Brennan isn’t the real victim
It’s time for Turkey and NATO to go their separate ways
Andrew Cuomo and American Exceptionalism
Car Crashes Into Barriers Outside U.K. Parliament
Afghan City Gauges Toll After Taliban Siege
Turkey Shifts Closer to Russia
Japanese Emperor Emphasizes Peace at His Last War-Memorial Address
Top Chinese Monk, Accused of Sexually Harassing Nuns, Quits Post
Immigrants, With Their Split Identities, Trigger Soul-Searching in Germany
Israel Reopens Gaza’s Only Commercial Crossing Amid Fragile Calm
Police Seek Motive Behind Suspected Attack on U.K. Parliament
The ‘King of Fruits’ Smells Like Gym Socks—and Fans Fear There Won’t Be Enough
Mali’s President Wins Re-Election in Vote Marred by Violence
Italy, EU Spar Over Bridge Collapse
Police Chief Defends Use Of Taser On Elderly Woman Cutting Flowers – HuffPost
Manafort jury sends judge four questions, asks him to define ‘reasonable doubt’ – Washington Post

Saved Stories 

Saved Stories – None
John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash

That’s why the president revoked my security clearance: to try to silence anyone who would dare challenge him.

Trump was right to revoke Brennan’s security clearance

President Trump was right to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday.

The Real Risk of the John Brennan Episode

President Trump has revoked the former C.I.A. Director John Brennan’s security clearance, the White House announced Wednesday.

Gregg Jarrett: Ex-CIA Director Brennan shouldn’t have a security clearance – He’s a national security risk

Former CIA Director John Brennan is a serious national security risk. President Trump was wise and correct to revoke Brennan’s security clearance Wednesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s incredible statement dissing America shows bankruptcy of Democratic ideas

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing a Democratic primary for re-election Sept. 13 against far-left “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon and no doubt considering a race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, wants you to know America isn’t great, it’s never been great and it’s not going to be great again.

letter: Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power

A civil rights lawyer says the right to criticize public officials is “a cornerstone of a constitutional democracy.”

Thanks, Paul Manafort — for showing that the U.S. needs to crack down on dirty money

The United States has turned itself into a haven for dirty money from around the world. It’s time for a change.

Please Let Me Join Your Heist

I’ll cut straight to the chase: I want in.

Why Should We Fear Russian Political Ads?

By any measure, they are a drop in the ocean. And they’re hard to distinguish from domestic sentiments.

John Brennan isn’t the real victim

Democratic norms erode as the president uses his authority to bully critics.

It’s time for Turkey and NATO to go their separate ways

The two countries no longer appear to have the common interests that alliances depend on.

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks 

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Opinion | John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash
letter: Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power
Opinion | Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power
Italy, EU Spar Over Bridge Collapse
Former commander who oversaw Bin Laden raid asks Trump to revoke his security clearance – Politico
Albéniz – Suite Española – YouTube
Trump connects revoking Brennan’s security clearance to Russia investigation
Trump connects revoking Brennan’s security clearance to Russia investigation – CNN
6:40 PM 8/15/2018 – M.N.: My Opinion: This is petty, unprecedented, and “unpresidential”: Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director who has criticized the White House – Yahoo News | Global Security News
6:40 AM 8/16/2018 – M.N.: HIRED THUGS! | John W. Whitehead: FBI as Gestapo | FBI News Review
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fbi is deeply and secretly antisemitic – Google Search
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Report: Anti-Semitic Incidents In U.S. Rose Nearly 60 Percent In 2017
FBI: American Gestapo | Sonoran News
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Opinion | John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash
 

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When Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s internal security service, told me during an early August 2016 phone call that Russia wasn’t interfering in our presidential election, I knew he was lying. Over the previous several years I had grown weary of Mr. Bortnikov’s denials of Russia’s perfidy — about its mistreatment of American diplomats and citizens in Moscow, its repeated failure to adhere to cease-fire agreements in Syria and its paramilitary intervention in eastern Ukraine, to name just a few issues.

When I warned Mr. Bortnikov that Russian interference in our election was intolerable and would roil United States-Russia relations for many years, he denied Russian involvement in any election, in America or elsewhere, with a feigned sincerity that I had heard many times before. President Vladimir Putin of Russia reiterated those denials numerous times over the past two years, often to Donald Trump’s seeming approval.

Russian denials are, in a word, hogwash.

Before, during and after its now infamous meddling in our last presidential election, Russia practiced the art of shaping political events abroad through its well-honed active measures program, which employs an array of technical capabilities, information operations and old-fashioned human intelligence spycraft. Electoral politics in Western democracies present an especially inviting target, as a variety of politicians, political parties, media outlets, think tanks and influencers are readily manipulated, wittingly and unwittingly, or even bought outright by Russian intelligence operatives. The very freedoms and liberties that liberal Western democracies cherish and that autocracies fear have been exploited by Russian intelligence services not only to collect sensitive information but also to distribute propaganda and disinformation, increasingly via the growing number of social media platforms.

Having worked closely with the F.B.I. over many years on counterintelligence investigations, I was well aware of Russia’s ability to work surreptitiously within the United States, cultivating relationships with individuals who wield actual or potential power. Like Mr. Bortnikov, these Russian operatives and agents are well trained in the art of deception. They troll political, business and cultural waters in search of gullible or unprincipled individuals who become pliant in the hands of their Russian puppet masters. Too often, those puppets are found.

In my many conversations with James Comey, the F.B.I. director, in the summer of 2016, we talked about the potential for American citizens, involved in partisan politics or not, to be pawns in Russian hands. We knew that Russian intelligence services would do all they could to achieve their objectives, which the United States intelligence community publicly assessed a few short months later were to undermine public faith in the American democratic process, harm the electability of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and show preference for Mr. Trump. We also publicly assessed that Mr. Putin’s intelligence services were following his orders. Director Comey and I, along with the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael Rogers, pledged that our agencies would share, as appropriate, whatever information was collected, especially considering the proven ability of Russian intelligence services to suborn United States citizens.

The already challenging work of the American intelligence and law enforcement communities was made more difficult in late July 2016, however, when Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, publicly called upon Russia to find the missing emails of Mrs. Clinton. By issuing such a statement, Mr. Trump was not only encouraging a foreign nation to collect intelligence against a United States citizen, but also openly authorizing his followers to work with our primary global adversary against his political opponent.

Such a public clarion call certainly makes one wonder what Mr. Trump privately encouraged his advisers to do — and what they actually did — to win the election. While I had deep insight into Russian activities during the 2016 election, I now am aware — thanks to the reporting of an open and free press — of many more of the highly suspicious dalliances of some American citizens with people affiliated with the Russian intelligence services.

Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.

The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of “Trump Incorporated” attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets. A jury is about to deliberate bank and tax fraud charges against one of those people, Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman. And the campaign’s former deputy chairman, Rick Gates, has pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him. Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference — from Mr. Trump or anyone else — so that all Americans can get the answers they so rightly deserve.

John O. Brennan was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017.

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Trump’s Claims Are Hogwash

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letter: Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power
 

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A civil rights lawyer says the right to criticize public officials is “a cornerstone of a constitutional democracy.”

Opinion | Revoking Brennan’s Clearance: An Abuse of Presidential Power
 

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To the Editor:

Re “Trump Wields Power of Office Against a Critic” (front page, Aug. 16):

By revoking the security clearance of John Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, President Trump set another example of a president abusing power and punishing someone because he criticized him. A cornerstone of a constitutional democracy is the right to criticize elected officials publicly, including the president. If this right is eroded, we will have lost what makes America special.

Mr. Brennan, like so many other Americans, needs to continue to speak out and hold the president accountable to our laws and constitutional rights. Appropriate legal challenges to abuse of power by government officials are a viable alternative to meekly accepting the continuing actions by the president and his administration.

Norman Siegel
New York
The writer is a civil rights lawyer.

Italy, EU Spar Over Bridge Collapse
 

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Finger pointing over the deadly collapse of a highway bridge in Italy intensified Thursday as Italian and European authorities sought to assign blame for the disaster, which cost at least 38 lives.

Former commander who oversaw Bin Laden raid asks Trump to revoke his security clearance – Politico
 

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Former commander who oversaw Bin Laden raid asks Trump to revoke his security clearance
Politico
… Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year, and Bruce Ohr, who is still in the Justice 
John Brennan: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperateChronicle Telegram
Retired Admiral William McRaven asks Trump to revoke his security clearanceCBS News
Trump cites Russia probe as a reason for revoking former CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearanceCNBC
Twitter –Wall Street Journal –GovDelivery
all 1,047 news articles »
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Trump connects revoking Brennan’s security clearance to Russia investigation – CNN
 

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Trump connects revoking Brennan’s security clearance to Russia investigation
CNN
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump drew a connection in a new interview between his decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance with his involvement in the investigation into Russian election interference.
John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are HogwashNew York Timesall 149 news articles »
6:40 PM 8/15/2018 – M.N.: My Opinion: This is petty, unprecedented, and “unpresidential”: Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director who has criticized the White House – Yahoo News | Global Security News
 

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M.N.: My Opinion: This is petty, unprecedented, and “unpresidential”. 

Frankly and humbly me thinks, that it was a big political error, which could be prevented by advisers. More than that, this is demonstratively unjust: Mr. Brenner, with all his critical remarks about Mr. Trump, to which he is fully entitled as a private citizen, remains the very well respected member of the Intelligence Community, and it is the very unique group. Frankly, again, on the part of many people, this unneeded gesture might turn off any desires to understand and to help the Trump Administration. It is simply unfair, and the American people are very sensitive about the issues of fairness, me thinks. 

Sad, sad, sad. 

Michael Novakhov

10:56 AM 8/16/2018

6:40 AM 8/16/2018 – M.N.: HIRED THUGS! | John W. Whitehead: FBI as Gestapo | FBI News Review
 

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“Much like the German people, “we the people” have become passive, polarized, gullible, easily manipulated, and lacking in critical thinking skills. Distracted by entertainment spectacles, politics and screen devices, we too are complicit, silent partners in creating a police state similar to the terror practiced by former regimes.” 

“The concern is that a Nazi-type regime may be rising in America.
That process, however, began a long time ago.
In fact, following the second World War, the U.S. government recruited Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order, implemented his tactics in incremental steps, and began to lay the foundations for the rise of the Fourth Reich.

 Sounds far-fetched? Read on. It’s all documented.”

John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute

M.N.: The essence of the FBI did not change through the years: it was, it is, and it will be, in the absence of the deep structural reforms, the ragtag army of the

HIRED THUGS! 

And this is the heart of the problem, it seems to me. They cultivate and perpetuate this mentality and attitude because they have no other, as the organizing principle and raison d’être. 

FBI is deeply and secretly antisemitic, which probably is a carry-over from their love affair with the Nazis around WW2 era.  They take only the rotten and psychopathic Jews, like themselves, who suit them. A good example, which I mentioned earlier, is the “psychiatrist” cum the FBI informant, the Mata Hari of the American Psychiatry, “Dr” Carol Bernstein, who was promoted to the leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association by her (former) boyfriend (or husband), the same rotten and psychopathic Jew, who was (or is) the worker for the FBI. 

That boyfriend, a little stinky piece of shit, made a point of meeting me after the arranging and executing the physical attack on me through the FBI San Juan branch, its Director at the time, Carlos “Cabrito” Cases, the local police, and their “professional” enforcer. He wanted to make clear that it was him who was behind this attack. He came with a “friend”, and they introduced themselves as “Steven” and “John the Kayak”. 

These events are very well known to the FBI, their leadership, and, I guess, to Mr. Comey. 

It means, that the FBI tried to control the APA through her and them. They initiated, for their carrier advancements (in both the FBI and the APA), the series of set-ups, trying to frame up the genuine psychiatric researchers. Bernstein did it out of the “professional” envy. 

It is very likely that Carol Bernstein – Mata Hari (whom I know from the times of our work as residents in New York in mid 1980-s), used her “special (herpes laden) charms” and sexual favors to entrap these researchers. 

The degenerates like her did destroy the American Psychiatry as the independent Science, turning it into the purulent appendix of the FBI Monster. 

Investigate both of them and publish the results of this investigation!

_____________________________

Nazis

Can the Fourth Reich happen here? 

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , it’s already happening right under our noses. – John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute

____________________________

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Report: Anti-Semitic Incidents In U.S. Rose Nearly 60 Percent In 2017
 

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The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States rose nearly 60 percent in 2017, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League, marking the largest single year increase the organization has ever recorded.

According to the report, published Tuesday, the ADL counted 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, a 57 percent increase over the year before.

It’s also the second highest tally the ADL has recorded since 1979, when the organization, which tracks anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, started conducting its annual count. Only 1994 saw more, with 2,066 anti-Semitic incidents.

“A confluence of events in 2017 led to a surge in attacks on our community – from bomb threats, cemetery desecrations, white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, and children harassing children at school,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement. “These incidents came at a time when we saw a rising climate of incivility, the emboldening of hate groups and widening divisions in society.”

The report breaks down anti-Semitic incidents into three categories: There were 1,015 incidents of harassment last year, a 41 percent increase over the prior year; 952 incidents of vandalism, an 86 percent increase; and 19 incidents of assault, a 47 percent decrease.

Anti-Defamation League

The most common place for these acts of hate was in schools. There were 457 anti-Semitic incidents at K-12 schools in America last year, a 94 percent increase from the 235 recorded at schools in 2016.

“The consistent increase of anti-Semitic incidents against students of all ages is deeply troubling,” Greenblatt said. “We know that students do not always report when they are being bullied, so for every incident that’s reported, it is likely there’s another that goes unreported.”

Another ADL report released last month detailed 204 incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses in 2017, a nearly 90 percent increase over the year before.

The most anti-Semitic incidents last year occurred in the first three months of 2017, as the country reeled from a particularly contentious presidential election. January, February and March saw 208, 273 and 273 incidents respectively.

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There were 163 bomb threats made against Jewish institutions during those three months. A 19-year-old Israeli-American named Michael Ron David Kadar was arrested in Israel for making the bulk of those threats. It later emerged that Kadar, whom his mother described as autistic and suffering from a brain tumor, sold his bomb threat services on the dark web.

“Our goal in the Audit is not to count anti-Semites, but rather to document cases where Jews were targeted for assault, vandalism and harassment,” an ADL spokesman explained to HuffPost.

“Regardless of the motivation of any specific perpetrator, Jewish communities were repeatedly traumatized by these assaults on their institutions and threats to their safety. The bomb threats sowed fear and anxiety among Jews across the country.”

The report similarly states that the desecration of seven Jewish cemeteries in 2017 — most of which occurred at the beginning of the year — “contributed to a sense that the Jewish American community was under siege.”

Hate crimes rose about 5 percent in 2016, according to the latest FBI tally, marking the first time in over 10 years that the country has experienced consecutive annual increases in hate crimes.

Preliminary hate crime statistics for 2017 — collected by Brian Levin, a professor at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino — showed a 20 percent rise in hate crimes in 13 large American cities.

Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” report, identifying 954 hate groups in the U.S. – an increase of 4 percent from 2016. The SPLC attributed this rise in hate groups, and a similar increase in 2016, to the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

“President Trump in 2017 reflected what white supremacist groups want to see: a country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

To the delight of racists and fascists across the country, Trump has on numerous occasions given political cover or tacit support to white nationalism. During the campaign, he was slow to disavow the support of David Duke, a former KKK grand wizard and avowed anti-Semite. The president also tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton standing next to an apparent Star of David and a pile of cash. (This anti-Semitic meme originated on an alt-right message board on 8chan.)

Once in office, Trump issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that omitted any mention of anti-Semitism or Jews. He refused to condemn his supporters for making anti-Semitic threats against journalist Julia Ioffe. “I know nothing about it,” he said. “You’ll have to talk to them about that.” (Andrew Anglin, the anti-Semite behind the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, told HuffPost that he interpreted Trump’s lack of condemnation as “an endorsement” for the threats against Ioffe.)

And after the violent white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August — which ended with a neo-Nazi allegedly driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring 19 people and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer — Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides of the rally.

America does not do a good job of tracking incidents of hate and bias. We need your help to create a database of such incidents across the country, so we all know what’s going on. Tell us your story.

FBI: American Gestapo | Sonoran News
 

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Any government agency with law enforcement and surveillance authority that uses those powers for political purposes is the definition of a secret police, no better than the Nazi Gestapo or the Soviet KGB.

There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.

It is also abundantly clear from the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI that those institutions of government are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.

In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of tyranny.

Here is a summary of the apparent sequence of events based on the revelations so far. There may be more damning evidence yet to be disclosed.

–        The Democrats hired Fusion GPS to find dirt on Donald Trump.

–        Fusion GPS hired former British MI6 agent in Moscow, Christopher Steele, to canvass and very likely pay his Russian contacts, some of whom may be present or former members of Russian intelligence, for negative information about Trump.

–        Steele creates the “Trump dossier” and distributes it either directly or indirectly to media outlets and to politicians like Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

–        The FBI obtains the “Trump dossier,” but inexplicably or perhaps intentionally does not check the veracity of any of Steele’s assertions.

–        The FBI uses the “Trump dossier” to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to obtain warrantless authorization to conduct surveillance on Trump and his associates.

–        It now appears that Christopher Steele might have been, at some point, on the FBI payroll, and, by extension, the Russians.

The use of an un-vetted document from dubious Russian sources as a basis for unwarranted surveillance of American citizens, ultimately for political purposes, renders the entire Mueller investigation a farce and could provide exculpatory evidence to vacate the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It is a verdict many believe was based on improperly-obtained information as part of an overall effort by politically-motivated federal employees to manipulate the results of the 2016 election.

The conditions that led to the election of Donald Trump as President remain. They bear repeating.

The federal government and the media are, as institutions, hopelessly corrupt and, although we have elections, we no longer have representative government.

There is a Cold Civil War underway in the United States to determine who should control the federal government. It is not a contest between the Democrat and Republican policies, but a battle between the entrenched power of the bipartisan political establishment, the Deep State, versus the freedom and well-being of the American people. It is a conflict between those who want to adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law and a ruling elite, who wish to continue the practices of political expediency and crony capitalism for the purposes of personal power and profit.
Americans now believe that we are no longer citizens of a republic, but subjects of an elected aristocracy, composed of a self-absorbed and self-perpetuating permanent political class, which serves its own interests and those of its international financiers, not those of the American people.

Three years before the start of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said a government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free – that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Likewise, a government separated from the people cannot stand.

The American Revolution, a war to free ourselves from foreign tyranny, lasted eight years.

The Second American Revolution, a battle to root out the corruption and despotism of the Deep State will take longer, but equally necessary.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

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Story image for fbi as gestapo from The Intercept

FBI Pressed Detained Anti-ICE Activist for Information on Protests …

The InterceptAug 7, 2018
The FBI agents asked him to inform on fellow protesters and said if he did so it could help his immigration case. “It seems evident that he was …

Story image for fbi as gestapo from The Weekly Standard

Fact Check: Is the FBI Behaving Like the “Gestapo in Germany”?

The Weekly StandardApr 12, 2018
Contrary to Gingrich’s claim that the FBI broke down the door, the … Cohen to the Gestapo, while hyperbolic, is not remotely close to resembling …

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Report: FBI Has ‘Ongoing’ Relationship With Left-Wing SPLC, Which …

The Daily CallerJul 28, 2018
The FBI has an ongoing relationship with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, Fox News host Tucker Carlson reported. The SPLC once …

Story image for fbi as gestapo from Wall Street Journal

Five Best: Scott Miller on Spycraft

Wall Street JournalAug 3, 2018
Thanks to Sebold, the FBI eventually arrested 33 German spies. … His house, near Gestapo headquarters on the leafy Avenue Foch, became a …

Story image for fbi as gestapo from Sonoran News

FBI: American Gestapo

Sonoran NewsDec 18, 2017
It is also abundantly clear from the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI that those institutions of …
The silent terror of the Fourth Reich — Puppet Masters — Sott.net
 

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“After five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”— Historian Robert Gellately
Adolf Hitler is alive and well in the United States, and he is fast rising to power.”—Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, on the danger posed by the FBI to our civil liberties

Nazis© A Government of Wolves

Lately, there’s been a lot of rhetoric comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

The concern is that a Nazi-type regime may be rising in America.
That process, however, began a long time ago.
In fact, following the second World War, the U.S. government recruited Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order, implemented his tactics in incremental steps, and began to lay the foundations for the rise of the Fourth Reich.

 Sounds far-fetched? Read on. It’s all documented.

As historian Robert Gellately

recounts

, the Nazi police state was initially so

admired

 for its efficiency and order by the

world powers

 of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police—the Gestapo.

The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the

New York Times

, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively

recruited at least a thousand Nazis

, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.

All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators—

including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others

—were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies and informants, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. All the while,

thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry visas

 to the U.S. on the grounds that it could threaten national security.

Adding further insult to injury,

American taxpayers have been paying to keep these ex-Nazis on the U.S. government’s payroll

 ever since. And in true Gestapo fashion,

anyone who has dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties has found himself spied upon

, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

As if the government’s

covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II

 wasn’t bad enough, U.S. government agencies—the FBI, CIA and the military—have fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.

Indeed, with every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention.

Jewish Refugees© A Government of Wolves

These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace.

That danger is now posed by the FBI, whose laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment and indoctrination, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, and that’s just based on what we know.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using

intimidation tactics

 to silence Americans who are critical of the government;

recruiting high school students to spy on and report fellow students

 who show signs of being future terrorists; or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then

entrapping them

, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whatever minimal restrictions initially kept the FBI’s surveillance activities within the bounds of the law have all but disappeared post-9/11. Since then, the FBI has been transformed into a mammoth federal policing and surveillance agency that largely operates as a power unto itself, beyond the reach of established laws, court rulings and legislative mandates.

Consider the FBI’s far-reaching powers to surveil, detain, interrogate, investigate, prosecute, punish, police and generally act as a law unto themselves—

much like their Nazi cousins

, the Gestapo—and then try to convince yourself that the United States is still a constitutional republic.

Just like the Gestapo, the FBI has vast resources, vast investigatory powers, and vast discretion to determine who is an enemy of the state.

Gestapo© A Government of Wolves

Today, the FBI employs more than 35,000 individuals and operates more than 56 field offices in major cities across the U.S., as well as 400 resident agencies in smaller towns, and more than 50 international offices. In addition to their “data campus,” which houses more than 96 million sets of fingerprints from across the United States and elsewhere, the FBI has also built a vast repository of “profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime.

What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor

.” The FBI’s burgeoning databases on Americans are not only being added to and used by local police agencies, but are also being made available to employers for

real-time background checks

.

All of this is made possible by the agency’s nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2015 was

$8.3 billion

), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centers—data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails.

Much like the Gestapo spied on mail and phone calls, FBI agents have carte blanche access to the citizenry’s most personal information.

 Working through the U.S. Post Office, the

FBI has access to every piece of mail that passes through the postal system

: more than 160 billion pieces are scanned and recorded annually. Moreover, the agency’s

National Security Letters

, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose those demands to the customer. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread

constitutional violations

.

Much like the Gestapo’s sophisticated surveillance programs, the FBI’s spying capabilities can delve into Americans’ most intimate details (and allow local police to do so, as well).

 In addition to technology (which is shared with police agencies) that allows them to listen in on phone calls, read emails and text messages, and monitor web activities, the FBI’s surveillance boasts an

invasive collection of spy tools

 ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls. In one case, the FBI actually managed to

remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card

 so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.” Law enforcement agencies are also using

social media tracking software

 to monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Moreover, secret FBI rules also

allow agents to spy on journalists

 without significant judicial oversight.

Much like the Gestapo’s ability to profile based on race and religion, and its assumption of guilt by association, the FBI’s approach to pre-crime allows it to profile Americans based on a broad range of characteristics including race and religion.

Gestapo© A Government of Wolves

The agency’s

biometric database

 has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to

DNA

, and is being

increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies

 in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime. Yet it’s not just your actions that will get you in trouble. In many cases, it’s also

who you know

—even minimally—and where your sympathies lie that could land you on a government watch list. Moreover, as the

Interceptreports

, despite anti-profiling prohibitions, the bureau “claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.”

Much like the Gestapo’s power to render anyone an enemy of the state, the FBI has the power to label anyone a domestic terrorist.

 As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force has begun using the terms “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist”

interchangeably

. Moreover, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that can be used to identify an individual (especially anyone who disagrees with the government) as a

potential

 domestic terrorist. For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:

  • express libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
  • exhibit Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership)
  • read survivalist literature, including apocalyptic fictional books
  • show signs of self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
  • fear an economic collapse
  • buy gold and barter items
  • subscribe to religious views concerning the book of Revelation
  • voice fears about Big Brother or big government
  • expound about constitutional rights and civil liberties
  • believe in a New World Order conspiracy

Much like the Gestapo infiltrated communities in order to spy on the German citizenry, the FBI routinely infiltrates political and religious groups, as well as businesses.

 As Cora Currier

writes for theIntercept

: “Using loopholes it has kept secret for years, the FBI can in certain circumstances bypass its own rules in order to send undercover agents or informants into political and religious organizations, as well as schools, clubs, and businesses…” The FBI has even been

paying Geek Squad technicians at Best Buy to spy on customers’ computers

 without a warrant.

Just as the Gestapo united and militarized Germany’s police forces into a national police force, America’s police forces have largely been federalized and turned into a national police force.

Gestapo© A Government of Wolves

In addition to government programs that provide the nation’s police forces with military equipment and training, the

FBI also operates a National Academy

 that trains thousands of police chiefs every year and indoctrinates them into an agency mindset that advocates the use of surveillance technology and information sharing between local, state, federal, and international agencies.

Just as the Gestapo’s secret files on political leaders were used to intimidate and coerce, the FBI’s files on anyone suspected of “anti-government” sentiment have been similarly abused. 

As countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians,

spy on celebrities

 and

high-ranking government officials

, and

intimidate and attempt to discredit dissidents

 of all stripes. For example, not only did the FBI follow Martin Luther King Jr. and bug his phones and hotel rooms, but agents also sent him anonymous letters

urging him to commit suicide

 and pressured a Massachusetts college into dropping King as its commencement speaker.

Just as the Gestapo carried out entrapment operations, the FBI has become a master in the art of entrapment. 

Hitler© A Government of Wolves

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the FBI has not only targeted vulnerable individuals but has also lured or

blackmailed them

 into fake terror plots while actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing or deporting them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “

forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions

.” In addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the

FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law

, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts.

USA Today

 estimates that

agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day

. Some of these

informants are getting paid astronomical sums

: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

When and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America, in much the same way that the empowerment of Germany’s secret police tracked with the rise of the Nazi regime.

How did the Gestapo become the terror of the Third Reich?

It did so by creating a sophisticated surveillance and law enforcement system that relied for its success on the cooperation of the military, the police, the intelligence community, neighborhood watchdogs, government workers for the post office and railroads, ordinary civil servants, and a nation of snitches inclined to report “

rumors, deviant behavior, or even just loose talk

.”

In other words, ordinary citizens working with government agents helped create the monster that became Nazi Germany. Writing for the

New York Times

, Barry Ewen paints a particularly chilling portrait of how

an entire nation becomes complicit in its own downfall

 by looking the other way:

In what may be his most provocative statement, [author Eric A.] Johnson says that ”most Germans may not even have realized until very late in the war, if ever, that they were living in a vile dictatorship.” This is not to say that they were unaware of the Holocaust; Johnson demonstrates that millions of Germans must have known at least some of the truth. But, he concludes, ”a tacit Faustian bargain was struck between the regime and the citizenry.” The government looked the other way when petty crimes were being committed. Ordinary Germans looked the other way when Jews were being rounded up and murdered; they abetted one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century not through active collaboration but through passivity, denial and indifference.

Much like the German people, “we the people” have become passive, polarized, gullible, easily manipulated, and lacking in critical thinking skills. Distracted by entertainment spectacles, politics and screen devices, we too are complicit, silent partners in creating a police state similar to the terror practiced by former regimes.

Can the Fourth Reich happen here?

 As I point out in my book

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

, it’s already happening right under our noses.

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